Purdue (9-2) was able to pull away from Illinois State (6-3) late in the game to win 64-51. Despite a slow shooting start and going 0-8 from 3 in the first half the Boilers gritty defense and forced turnovers helped Purdue grind out the win. Lasha Petree led the team in points with 14 while Jeanae Terry had 9 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Abbey Ellis also added in 9 points and 7 rebounds.
Illinois state made a layup and jumper to start the game 4-0 as Purdue went scoreless for the first two minutes. Caitlyn Harper made a shot to get the Boilers on the board. The two teams went on to trade points back and forth neither one ever holding more than a 2 point lead. Boilers led at the end of the quarter 13-11.
Paige Robinson hit a jump shot to tie up the game and Purdue went on a scoring drought for the next three minutes. Janae Terry missed a three but followed up her shot and got the putback to get the Boilers going. Purdue went on a 6-0 run to end the quarter and led at half 25-23 despite only shooting a little over 28% from the field.
The offense started flowing as Illinois State hit a three to start the second half and Petree responded with jumper. Purdue finally started to to get some momentum as Petree hit the first 3 for Purdue with five minutes left in the quarter. Jeanae Terry dished it out to Jayla Smith for another Purdue 3 along with Abbey Ellis knocking down a couple free throws to take the lead 37-31. Illinois State hit a couple shots and free throws to pull it within 2 but never would see the lead again for the remainder of the game.
The Boilers have struggled closing out games, most recently in their OT loss to Michigan State after having a 16 point lead, so Katie Gerald’s wasn’t going to let another one slip away. Purdue locked down on defense and outscored Illinois State 25-14 in the final quarter. Purdue shot 51% from the field holding off Illinois state to only 29%. Purdue still needs to do a better job at holding on to the ball especially entering B1G play after committing 18 turnovers.
Purdue travels to College Station next to take on Texas A&M on Wednesday at 2pm. This will be their final non-conference opponent of the regular season.